Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker found her three point stroke and drained two long range bombs in back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter. After her second three, that gave the Sparks an 80-75 lead and momentum on their side with 6:30 left in their game against the Phoenix Mercury.
But on the next possession, with 5:48 left to play, Phoenix Mercury forward Penny Taylor got caught in a double team, and passed to center Brittney Griner who made a slam dunk in front of Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike who tried to move away and not get posterized.
Until this point in the WNBA, slam dunks were only done on the fast break and/or during times when the game outcome was all but decided. Lisa Leslie's dunk in 2002, as well as Candace Parker's first and second dunks in 2008 were on the break.
Griner's dunk on Sunday was the third in her WNBA career. But her previous two dunks, which was in her season debut against the Chicago Sky, occurred when Phoenix was getting blown out. Also every dunk in WNBA history up to this point was performed by a player on the home team.
This dunk was done in the flow of the game, and done by a player on the road team. In addition, the Mercury was down by a few points, but still had a good chance to win the game. So there was no intent for this to be a "gift for the fans" who wanted anything but a highlight play from Griner.
From that play on, the Mercury made 6-of-7 shots and the slam dunk was a morale boost for them as they ultimately won the game, 94-89. Ogwumike actually scored on the very next two possessions in this game for the Sparks, but they ultimately ran out of gas.
Our full game recap can be found by clicking here.